(JTA) – A Spanish public broadcaster accused Jews of promoting Satanism.
The assertion was the focus of a radio program titled “From the Inferno – The Jewish People: Propagator of the Satan Cult” aired last month by the state-owned RTVE broadcaster as part of its weekend “A la Carta” program.
The program begins with ominous music, followed by a gravel-voiced announcer who quotes from Jacob Frank, an 18th century Jew from Poland who had been excommunicated by his community for his heretic Kabalistic interpretations. “The Jews first propagated the cult of Lucifer in several secret satanical societies,” the monologue continues.
“Through black magic, the Israelites called on the powers of darkness with demonic rational,” the announcer continues.
The synopsis on RTVE’s website for the 30-minute program states: “The Jewish founders of the occult and masonry society introduced the cult of Lucifer” to some organizations.
The broadcast about Jewish Satanism – an ancient trope and element of Christian anti-Semitic blood libels – is part of a series on Satanism in general. On Thursday, “A La Carta” aired another broadcast about Satanism by Vatican societies.
Yigal Palmor, a senior spokesperson for the Jewish Agency and former spokesperson for the Israeli foreign ministry, criticized RTVE on Twitter.
“How can a public entity give a podium to this sort of crude, lowly and disgusting racism? A return of the Inquisition,” Palmor wrote on Wednesday.
In the same Twitter dialogue, Palmor joined other critics who accused organizers of the Rototom Sunshine festival near Valencia of anti-Semitism for disinviting the Jewish-American singer Matisyahu. The festival had disinvited Matisyahu over his refusal to endorse Palestinian statehood. Matisyahu, who is not Israeli, was the only performer asked to make such a statement.
After an international uproar, the Spanish government – which recently passed legislation to give citizenship to descendants of Sephardic Jews, aiming to atone for their ancestors’ expulsion in the 15th century – condemned the organizers.
On Wednesday, the organizers apologized for their actions and re-invited Matisyahu to perform on Aug. 22.